Boat Handling

Furled Too Tight

by Connie McBride, Posted November 18, 2012
On a good day a furling headsail is like magic. You pull on the furling line and your sail is neatly rolled away until you need it again. At some point, however, most of us have rolled up our headsail in such high winds that it furls much more tightly than usual...

The Art of Motorsailing

by Charles J. Doane, Posted February 4, 2013
It never fails to amaze me how many jerry jugs of fuel some bluewater sailors are willing to carry on deck. Once I spotted a boat at the fuel dock in St. Georges with 16 jugs open on the quay waiting to be filled...
Misleading as its name may be, Bahamian mooring is an anchoring technique that can be used just about anywhere. If you’re looking to secure your boat in a jam-packed anchorage or in a tide-scoured waterway, a Bahamian moor can be very handy.
This month: carrying a kite; a shorter scope; steering tips; sail saver; using lights on the high seas.VisibilityTo Flash or NotFlashing white lights are far more noticeable than fixed ones and can be much brighter for the same average power drain. However, it’s dangerous and illegal to show anything that could be confused with a navigation aid, so
I’ve been on the wrong end of a towline twice. At the very least, being towed will ruin your afternoon. At worst, it can cause serious damage to your boat or injury to your crew. Knowing what to expect and what to do to help yourself—or to help others help you—will ensure things go safely and smoothly.

Positive control astern

by Sail Staff, Posted April 6, 2009
Because a sailboat without a bow thruster lacks positive directional control when going astern at slow speeds, many skippers choose one of three options when it’s time to go into a slip. They go into the slip bow first; they stop at a right angle to the slip and then use dock lines to pull the stern in by hand; or they back down with enough speed on to maintain control.The first option is

Extending whisker poles

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 20, 2009
A standard spinnaker pole is as long as the J measurement on your boat – that is, the distance from the base of the mast to the forestay chainplate. This is purely a racing rule requirement; longer poles are penalized under PHRF rules. If you’re cruising, your whisker pole can be any length you like.On a couple of occasions when I’ve wanted to run downwind with

Don't Over Trim

by Charles J. Doane, Posted November 28, 2012
Next time the wind goes soft, instead of submitting to this self-fulfilling prophesy of slow-going, try opening up the slot between your mainsail and headsail.

Pole Up, Ge'nny Out

by David Schmidt, Posted May 11, 2009
Spinnakers and asymmetricals are great for ticking off miles when sailing downwind, but they can be a chore to handle shorthanded. They require constant trimming, and there’s always the possibility of a crash gybe or a knockdown. For a fully crewed raceboat this isn’t a concern, but for cruisers it can be daunting enough that many simply roll out their headsail instead and call

Compass Mask

by Connie McBride, Posted December 18, 2012
 Sunlight is not good for your compass. The liquid inside gets cloudy over time, making it hard to read a heading.
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